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BARC issues RFI for TV ratings

18-January-2013
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BARC issues RFI for TV ratings

Broadcast Audience Research Council, India (BARC) has issued a global Request for Information (RFI) to seek understanding of the state-of-the art in the area of television audience measurement research in particular and audience measurement research in more general terms.

Punit Goenka, Chairman-BARC and MD & CEO, ZEE said, “BARC is committed to building a Television Audience Measurement System that becomes ipso facto the Gold Standard in its class worldwide. Given that BARC addresses a population of over 1 Billion, of which over 0.6 Billion have access to television in some form, I am confident that BARC will settle for nothing less than being the best.”

Television audience measurement in India has been around for nearly three decades. Beginning with a simple diary based system in the early 1980s covering Doordarshan, then the state owned monopoly broadcaster, it evolved parallel to the evolution of the Indian TV market. By the mid-1990s, it was already covering satellite television and in the early part of this century, India was one of the earliest television markets to have a pure Peoplemeter based system.

Shashi Sinha, Chairman – TechComm, BARC and CEO-Lodestar UM & CEO-IPG Mediabrands India stated, “At various times, more than one vendor has attempted to provide audience measurement but from 2002, TAM Media Research, India- a joint venture of Nielsen and Kantar, has been the de facto provider of the measurement currency, being widely used by all three stakeholder constituencies for all commercial and marketing decision making. It is clear that legacy architecture of the system, that has evolved incrementally, is now ready for seminal change. However, what is not clear is the contours of the new system, which BARC aims to define.”

The challenges for an audience measurement system in the era of digitalisation bringing in its wake a massive expansion in choice of content coupled with accelerating adoption of new technologies that are time shifting consumption away from the Fixed Time Chart (FTC) and spatially shifting it to personal digital appliances are altogether different from the era when television meant living rooms, common choices and shared family experience.

BARC understands that a good system rests as much on a sound understanding of the footprint of the medium: the Establishment Study; as it does on continuous tracking of viewing behaviour: the Television Meter Panel. BARC is also aware of a number of technologies at varying stages of development that promise non-intrusive or minimally intrusive viewership measurement. BARC is also aware of developments in the area of integrated media consumption metrics e.g. IPA’s Touchpoints 4 exercise scheduled for next year. All these are of interest to the architecture of the future system in India. BARC expects respondents to incorporate their own experiences in these areas as items of emphasis in the response to this RFI.

This RFI seeks ideas, templates, experiences, that will help BARC to blueprint the New Television Audience Measurement System. The annexure below lists a few questions that respondents may consider addressing as a part of their response to this RFI.

As per RFI, respondents will be expected to provide their inputs in the form of a report not to exceed 20 A4 pages in single spaced Verdana 10 point. Respondents should be willing to do a presentation not to exceed 1 hour at a BARC specified location in Mumbai or New Delhi. Respondents need to provide their credentials, TV measurement markets currently in their portfolio, organisation structure, focus towards India and finally their experience with TV audience measurement research.

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